New Street passengers asked: ‘Do you know your new entrance yet?’

New Street passengers asked: ‘Do you know your new entrance yet?’

Network Rail is holding the second in a series of public exhibitions at Birmingham New Street station to inform passengers about the major changes happening to their station this April.

The huge project to redevelop New Street station reaches the half-way point this spring when the station will ‘switch over’. This involves closing the existing concourse and entrances which have been in use since the 1960s and opening the first half of the brand new concourse.

This week, the second in a series of exhibitions to inform passengers about the changes will be taking place on the concourse at New Street station between 7am-7pm on Thursday 14, Friday 15 February and 9am-7pm on Saturday 16 February.

Passengers will be able to speak to members of the project team and view information about how the station will change and work out which of the new station entrances will suit them best when the station switches over in April.

When the first half of the new concourse opens, it will have all of the facilities expected in a major station, with a new, bigger and improved ticket office, plus new escalators and lifts improving access to platforms. However, passengers should be aware that all of the existing entrances to the station will close with entirely new ones opening. The exhibitions are part of an information campaign focused on giving passengers the information they need to navigate their way around the first half of the new look New Street.

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Major changes happening in April include:

*  The existing vehicle and pedestrian entrance outside the front of the station on Smallbrook Queensway will close, with vehicle access moving across to a new drop off area and short stay car park located off Hill Street
*  Pedestrians on Smallbrook Queensway will be able to access the station via the new Moor Street link and Stephenson Street
*  Passengers can still access the station from Pallasades and Bullring through a new set of escalators to the new concourse.
*  The Victoria Square entrance on Navigation Street will close to passengers as new entrances will open onto Stephenson Street and Hill Street
*  The station taxi rank will temporarily move to Navigation Street
*  Over 1,000 construction workers are currently on site at New Street, with main areas of activity including:

Platforms: Platforms are refurbished one at a time, leaving the other 11 platforms open to allow a full train service to run. Platform 8 reopened on Sunday 10 February, with work now moving to Platform 9.

Pallasades/Grand Central & John Lewis: Demolition is ongoing in several areas including the old car park and the centre of the building to form the station’s new atrium, which will open in 2015. The Pallasades remains open throughout the redevelopment. On the south side of the station, construction of the John Lewis department store is well under way.

Façade: The first sections of stainless steel façade were installed above Stephenson Street in December 2012. The entire north elevation and new north west corner entrance is due to be clad when the switchover happens in April.

Once the new concourse opens, the Network Rail/Mace project team will turn their attention to redeveloping the old station concourse. Grand Central and John Lewis are set to open in autumn 2014, with the station redevelopment completing in 2015.